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What to Do When Your Puppy Whines in His Crate

One incredibly powerful thing you can do to help get your puppy on the right track early in life is to practice crate training with them. Sometimes you'll need to help your puppy get comfortable in their crate or they may start whining and never stop. Our Murfreesboro vets remind us why crate training is so important and how you can get your pup to stop whining. 

Why should I crate my dog?

Has your dog been crying in its crate a lot? You might start questioning if it's worth it to keep them in there, or whether it's even in your dog's best interest. While certainly not obligatory, crate training can be a very useful tool in the long-term for both you and your pooch. 

Crate training can help reduce chances of your puppy getting into mischief or destroying property while he's still learning boundaries. It can also serve as a safe place to rest, keep nervous or anxious animals from bothering guests and help with potty training. 

Our vets in Murfreesboro, TN believe crate training is an important tool that all dogs should at least be familiar and comfortable with in case they need to be in a crate for safety reasons, such as when traveling. 

Why do dogs whine in their crate?

Dogs may whine in their crate for a range of reasons, from boredom or loneliness to anxiety, fear or needing to be let outside for bathroom time. 

All of these are perfectly normal, and it's your job as a pup parent to help your pooch feel comfortable and get acclimated to their new crate. 

How to Stop Your Dog from Whining in Their Crate

Keep these techniques in mind to stop your puppy from whining in their crate. While it may take some time, once you discover the reason your dog is so uncomfortable, these tips can help you stop whatever undesirable behaviors may be occurring. 

Make your puppy's crate comfortable for them

Getting your puppy familiar with her crate is one way to help reduce her anxiety - and subsequent whining. Your puppy will need to be given the chance to feel happy and comfortable in her new space before being locked in. 

Your pup shouldn't feel like their crate is a punishment, so allow them the chance to go in and out during the day. Fill it with fun, safe puppy toys, soft bedding and other favorite items. Offer rewards when they choose to go in on their own. 

Make sure your puppy is tired out 

If your puppy is tired from playing, they are less likely to whine when they have to go in their crate at the end of the day. 

If their needs for attention and activity are already met, they are less likely to seek attention once placed in their crate. 

Ignore bad behavior

Giving a puppy attention or letting them out of their crate once they start whining is a common mistake new pup parents make. Giving them attention may reinforce this behavior. 

After waking up from a nap or after a few minutes of quiet behavior, the puppy can be released. 

Pick the right sized crate

Puppies should have enough space in their crates to help them feel comfortable. A properly sized dog crate allows your dog to stand up and turn so they can play with their toys.

Consider dog crates that have a divider that you can use to adjust the size of the crate as your puppy grows.

Make sure they've had plenty of potty breaks

Your puppy isn't able to control their bladder as well as adult dogs, so it's important that they get outside for regular potty breaks so they don't have to whine to tell you they have to go outside. 

A two-month-old puppy can usually hold in their urine for three hours, and a three-month-old puppy can generally hold it for four hours, but it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to potty breaks. Even if they could hold it in for longer, it's a good idea to let them out frequently so you don't have to bring them into our Murfreesboro animal hospital for urinary issues from holding it in too long.

Pick the right spot

Where you have your puppy’s crate located may be a factor in whether or not they will feel the need to whine. If the crate is in an area that is isolated such as a basement or garage, they may feel scared and start whining. 

In addition to helping your puppy feel less anxious, keeping the crate close will allow you to hear when your puppy needs to go outside.

When Is It Time To Worry?

While puppy whining is not uncommon, pet parents should be on the lookout for any excessive whining or unusual behavior—whether a puppy is crated or not.

Pet parents should stay alert and reach out to their veterinarian in Murfreesboro, TN if puppy crying doesn’t subside. A little bit of puppy whining in the crate is to be expected but if a puppy is reactive the entire time they are crated, or they injure themselves in an attempt to escape, it's important to bring your pooch in to our veterinary hospital to talk to our vets at Brogli Lane Weaver & Alexander Animal Hospital right away to discuss some options.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. Always follow your doctor's advice regarding asthma or other allergy symptoms. 

Because every puppy is different, crate training can be a challenge no matter how many times you've done it. Contact our experienced Murfreesboro vets today to have them addressed, or to book an exam.

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